Monday Feb 27, 2006

Ferrari 4000 flash archive installation

I was trying to install Acer Ferrari 4000 laptop using flash archive, but the issue is Solaris doesnot come with Broadcom Gigabit ethernet driver (bcme) so one cannot do network install. So I downloaded bcme driver from broadcom website . When you unzip the drivers, you will find a tar file BRCMbcme.tar.Z. Untar the file and copy it into USB thumb drive.

Follow below steps to do flash archive installation over network.

o Once the Solaris is booted with CD exit installation
o Insert the USB thumb drive
o Create temproary directory
mkdir /tmp/bcmedrv

o Mount the thumb drive to /tmp/bcmedrv

o By default ramdisk (/) is mounted in read-only mode. Remount root / partition into read-write mode
mount -o remount,rw /

o Copy /tmp/bcmedrv/BRCMbcme/reloc/kernel/drv/ to /kernel/drv
cp -r /tmp/bcmedrv/BRCMbcme/reloc/kernel/drv/\* /kernel/drv o Run add_drv command
add_drv -i '"pci14e4,169d"' bcme

o Now plumb all interfaces
ifconfig -a plumb all

o You can see bcme is plumbed at this point

o Now fetch the IP if its dhcp or set static ip
ifconfig bcme0 dhcp start

o Now unmount /tmp/bcmedrv and remove usb-drive

o Run "install-solaris" in terminal which starts Solaris installation

o Select flash archive installation and complete the installation.

Sunday Feb 26, 2006

Jhead for Solaris

Jhead is utility for manipulating Exif Jpeg header and thumbnail manipulator which is used in Gallery . For more information about this utility can be found at . One can download Jhead binaries for Solaris from jhead-solaris.tar.gz

\*) Download jhead-solaris.tar.gz .
\*) Copy "jhead" from appropriate architecture to /usr/local/bin
\*) chmod +x /usr/local/bin/jhead

Sample output:-
bash-3.00$ jhead IMG_0952.JPG 
File name    : IMG_0952.JPG
File size    : 565717 bytes
File date    : 2006:02:27 21:02:12
Camera make  : Canon
Camera model : Canon PowerShot SD110
Date/Time    : 2004:12:18 00:33:53
Resolution   : 2048 x 1536
Flash used   : Yes (auto, red eye reduction mode)
Focal length :  5.4mm  (35mm equivalent: 37mm)
CCD width    : 5.28mm
Exposure time: 0.017 s  (1/60)
Aperture     : f/2.8
Whitebalance : Auto
Metering Mode: matrix

Monday Jan 02, 2006

Belenix 0.3 OpenSolaris based Live-CD released

Belenix 0.3 OpenSolaris based Live-CD is released. Here is a screenshot.

One can download latest Belenix from:-


Wednesday Dec 28, 2005

Using NetBSD packages with OpenSolaris / Solaris

Currently lots of utilites from NetBSD are ported for Solaris. So I took latest packaging tools and compiled it for Solaris. Using this you can add NetBSD packages.

\*) Download the base bootstrap.tar.bz2

\*) Untar the contents
gtar xvjf bootstrap.tar.bz2 -C /
This would basically install all the required utils and packaging info.

\*) Set the PKG_PATH to appropriate site from where the NetBSD packages can be fetched.
export PKG_PATH=

\*) Set the PATH makes sure the /usr/pkg/bin & /usr/pkg/sbin are at first because NetBSD uses its own utils for fetching and installing packages.
set PATH=/usr/pkg/bin:/usr/pkg/sbin:$PATH

\*) If you are behind firewall or if you use proxy to download set the environment variables accordingly
export http_proxy=http://proxy-ip:port
export ftp_proxy=http://proxy-ip:port
eg) export http_proxy=http://webproxy:8080/

\*) Now juz try adding a package
pkg_add -v
eg) pkg_add -v wget

NetBSD packages are installed in /usr/pkg/bin or /usr/pkg/sbin directory

\*) To see list of packages which are currently ported visit

For more information of NetBSD packaging utils visit

Sunday Dec 04, 2005 Report is a big developers event in India. Previously it used to be Banglinux which later renamed as Sun did a platinum sponsorship for this event.

Sumitha, Vinay and Mahesh took the responsibility of doing the ground work for this event.

We planned to showcase various technologies

\* DTrace
\* SMF/Zones
\* ZFS
\* Belenix
\* GlassFish
\* Netbeans

This was the major attraction within developers, every one were amazed with this technology people after seeing this demo have the below common question.

\* Is is part of OS or separate package ?
\* Is this technology being ported to Linux or any other Unix flavors ?

We started distributing Belenix live-CD. There were some common queries among developers

\* Does Belenix run on x86 pc ?
\* What advantages does Solaris have than linux ?
\* What are the features available one Solaris ?
\* What architectures does Solaris support ?

For people who were really interested we distributed Solaris 10 DVD's.

Some common queries about opensolaris :-
\* What licensing does this follows ?
\* Can I start modifying it ?
\* Can I strip down the kernel/utils and customize it ?
\* What's the Sun's strategy behind Opensolaris ?

People who handled various demos :-
Belenix - Myself, Moinak, Popuri, Ram and Anandth
DTrace - Pramod, Jalan, Ramesh, Kini, Sanjeev, Syed and Pavan
SMF/Zone - Vineeth, Shivani, Madhu, Ganga, Ganesh, Saif and Vivek
ZFS - Mahesh, Vidya, Kishore and Venku

Sorry if I had missed out some names... Each of our volunteers were so enthusiastic about this they worked hard to make it a grand success.

When compared to other stalls (google,hp,yahoo....) Sun stall was much crowded.

One of the stall GCI solutions were running a competition on Redhat linux. So I juz gave it a try and won the competition. Next day Alan Cox distributed prizes for winners. I got "The Mythical Man-Month" book as a prize autographed by him.

Some wins about
\* Solaris/OpenSolaris awareness among developers.
\* Sun stall attracted a large visitors.
\* More number of developers showed interest in Opensolaris and have signed up with BOSUG usergroup.
\* Distributed more than 1000 Belenix Cd's and arround 400 Solaris 10 DVD's.
\* India's leading newspaper The Hindu carried article about Opensolaris and Belenix.

For more info on visit Madhu's blog.

Monday Aug 29, 2005

Dtlogin add Window manager

To add other Window managers like (wmaker ,KDE, sawfish ... etc) to dtlogin can be done by creating following three files

1) /usr/dt/config/C/Xresources.d/Xresources.< window_manager >
2) /usr/dt/config/Xsession.< window_manager >
3) /usr/dt/config/Xinitrc.< window_manager >

Before creating files please note that you need to preserve permission while copying file.
(eg: cp -Ppr /usr/dt/config/C/Xresources.d/Xresources.jds /usr/dt/config/C/Xresources.d/Xresources.wmaker)

In above files replace < window_manager > with your custom name eg ( /usr/dt/config/C/Xresources.d/Xresources.wmaker )

Now lets look at files.
In Xresources.wmaker replace altDtName, altDtKey and altDtStart with appropriate file name
#cat /usr/dt/config/C/Xresources.d/Xresources.wmaker
Dtlogin\*altDtsIncrement:        True

Dtlogin\*altDtName:      Window Maker
Dtlogin\*altDtKey:       /usr/local/bin/wmaker
Dtlogin\*altDtStart:     /usr/dt/config/Xsession.wmaker
Dtlogin\*altDtLogo:      JDS_s10

After completing changes create Xsession.wmaker by copying ( cp -rPp /usr/dt/config/Xsession2.jds /usr/dt/config/Xsession.wmaker ). In Xsession.wmaker all you need to do is change the location of Xinitrc.wmaker.

And finally copy ( cp -rPp /usr/dt/config/Xinitrc.jds /usr/dt/config/Xinitrc.wmaker ). In Xinitrc.wmaker Make sure that you update the LD_LIBRARY_PATH,PATH and exec < binary_location > , if your window manager libraries and binaries are in nonstandard path.

Now logout you current session and try loggin in. If any error try logging in fail safe mode and start your custom window manager which could help you in debugging the startup issues.

I have attached all the 3 files for reference.

1) Xresources.wmaker
2) Xsession.wmaker
3) Xinitrc.wmaker

Tuesday Jul 19, 2005

Creating Solaris Packages made easy

I allways wanted to port GNU stuffs other than (blastwave/sunfreeware) to Solaris but packaging it was bit tough. Recently came across this checkinstall utility which work for most of the Linux Distro's. It basically keeps track of all the files being installed on the system and creates package out of it. I did a quick hack ;) to work on Solaris ...right now its not fully stablized but works !!!

After installation make sure that you edit the checkinstall & installwatch scripts coz it depends on GNU textutils packages. Make sure you set appropriate environment variables in script.

You can download checkinstall from checkinstall-1.6.0beta4.tgz

Here is the demo how it works.



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